Why Do We Settle For Mediocrity

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A fellow writer and friend posted an essay about being destined for greatness awhile ago. Even though it’s been over a year, it still sticks with me. He isn’t being cocky at all, nor entitled. Brian Brewington uses the essay to express how he feels about mediocrity and that he refuses to live that way.

I highly recommend this piece to anyone who feels they are destined for more than where they are right now.

What struck me the most was not his desire for more, I completely understand that. It was the fact that so many people settle and it left me thinking about why. In my comment to him, I also expressed that I understood why he felt the way he did, but that I can also imagine those who “live inside the box” are made to feel uncomfortable, maybe even angry, by those who don’t.

The why, I think, is that they are afraid of living outside of their “comfort zone” and become defensive when asked to think otherwise. Also, there’s a sense of freedom surrounding doing things your way, living a better life, and for someone who isn’t doing that as well, jealousy creeps in.

I believe we’ve all been struck by that green-eyed monster of old. We see someone else living what we perceive as a great life, doing great things, and grinning like a Cheshire Cat in the process, and it makes us wonder why we aren’t as free.

“If you don’t know where you are going — any road will get you there.” — Cheshire Cat, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The risk takers, the world makers, those who dare to be different and refuse to live the “American Dream” of the house behind the white picket fence, perfect spouse, 2.5 kids, those are the ones who take the road less traveled. They are the ones who may not have a specific destination in mind, but they’ll know when they get there.

Living that way means not accepting mediocrity, not accepting average. And there’s nothing wrong with that, just like there’s nothing wrong if perfectly average is your jam.

Just don’t judge those of us who don’t roll that way. It’s the black-sheep, the weird ones, who make the world a lot more interesting place to live. And even those who choose not to take risks, appreciate the end results of those who do.

Judgment is the issue here in the end.

Whether one is judging another for the road they travel, how they get there, or where they end up. And inherently, it’s the real problem. Personally, I don’t care if you settle for mediocrity or if you’re one of the wild things. What you do is for you, and not for me to judge. How you do it, especially, is definitely not any of my business, as long as you’re not hurting others.

It is within my nature to wonder why. I could honestly sit all day and wonder about a number of subjects, and likely get nowhere. Or come up with brilliant story ideas. It’s something I’ve done since I was a child. It’s part of my genetic makeup and one of the reasons I have always known I was meant to be one of the mad ones. But just because I wonder and question, doesn’t mean I’m judging. I just enjoy knowing more and try to understand my fellow humans.

I’ll always look for the road less traveled, that’s just my way. If it isn’t yours, that’s okay, I’m sure we’ll find one another on the other side with our own stories to tell.

I think, therefore, I write. /Posts may contain affiliate links.

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